I am an immigrant. I was born in Mexico and raised in Houston.
Growing up, my parents were regular people. The kind that worried about putting food on the table, making the house payment, and making sure our car wasn't repoed. I know, because I heard them talk about it. A lot.
I attended South Houston Elementary, South Houston Intermediate, and South Houston High School. I wanted to attend Rice University after graduating, but I didn't know you had to apply ahead of time. My school didn't have the sort of counselors that tell you these things. So, I went to the University of Houston for my freshman year. I aced my classes and then transferred to Rice. After I graduated, I kept going for another two years and got an MBA.
I started working in public service because I noticed some problems in my community that I wanted City Council to address. When I went to complain to my Council Member and offer a solution, they offered me an internship instead. Six weeks later, they offered me a job. I did that for three years, two of which were while I was still in business school. I was working full time and attending school full time. It was the hardest thing I had ever done, but I needed the money.
My Professional Career
Today, I have the privilege of being the Chief Financial Officer for the Houston Health Department. I oversee a budget of over $150 million for public health services in our community and lead a team of amazing women and men dedicated to making our community better.
I serve our community as a member of the board of The Beacon, an organization committed to serving Houston’s homeless community. I'm also devoted to mentoring and inspiring the next generation of Latino leaders and I serve on the Board of Directors for the Association for the Advancement of Mexican Americans. On a national level, I am the Treasurer and Executive Board Member of the American Public Health Association and have recently completed the Marshall Memorial Fellowship where I am actively engaged in strengthening the transatlantic partnership between the United States and Europe.
Why I'm Running
I came to this country as an infant. I was undocumented until I was 15. I grew up on the south side of town. My parents struggled. I struggled.
But this community gave me an opportunity: that as a Mexican immigrant from a struggling family, I could do whatever I wanted.
For that, I am both eternally grateful and committed to giving back to the community that made me who I am.